Lychees

By Meena Alexander b. 1951 Meena Alexander
Terrace deep as the sky.
Stone bench where I sit and read,

I wandered by myself
Into the heart of the mountains of Yoshino.

In one hand a book, in the other, a bag made of newsprint—
No weather-beaten bones here

Just lychees bought in the market,
Thirty rupees per kilogram.

Stalks mottled red tied up with string,
Flesh the color of pigeon wings—

Sweet simmering.
Sunlight bruises air

Pine trees blacken.
Where shall I go?

The Dhauladhar peaks
Are covered in snow.

Meena Alexander, "Lychees" from Birthplace with Buried Stones. Copyright © 2013 by Meena Alexander.  Reprinted by permission of Northwestern University Press.

Source: Birthplace with Buried Stones (Northwestern University Press, 2013)

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Poet Meena Alexander b. 1951

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Activities, Eating & Drinking

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Meena  Alexander

Biography

Born in Allahabad, India, poet Meena Alexander was raised in south India and Sudan. She earned a BA at Khartoum University and a PhD at Nottingham University. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Birthplace with Buried Stones (2013), PEN Open Book Award–winner Illiterate Heart (2002), and House of a Thousand Doors (1988). In her poetry, which has been translated into several languages, Alexander . . .

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SUBJECT Activities, Eating & Drinking

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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